In the early 20th century, it was almost unheard of to find women in the workforce, especially if they were mothers. Today, however, women have more opportunity than ever before, and while there are some women who decide to remain as homemakers, many can be classified as working mothers. Some difficulty can arise when attempting to balance your career and family life, however. If you are just starting a job, you may feel obligated to spend a lot of time at work, or put in a little extra to show your boss how dedicated you are. At the same time, however, if you have a young family (or any type of family for that matter), it can be difficult to find a healthy balance. Luckily, there are several things you can do to not only achieve this balance, but also advance your career.

Set Goals

The first thing you need to do is set goals for your career and family. You can divide your goals into two different types: short-term and long-term. Long-term goals should be things you want to accomplish in the distant future, such as five years down the road. For your family, maybe you wish to have a new house, or renovate part of your house by then. When making long-term goals, it is important to look at questions like “what do I enjoy doing?” and “what am I good at?” This can help you develop long-term goals at work. For example, maybe you want to be in a job that is closer to home, or maybe you only want to work certain hours so you can spend more time with your kids. Once you have set some long-term goals, you can set short-term goals. In the workplace, this may include receiving a promotion or furthering your education to help make you more qualified for a position or promotion. At home, this may include a small renovation or new purchase, or getting your kids involved in activities like sports.

Stay Motivated

Establishing goals is important, but it can all be wasted if you do not know how to stay motivated, particularly when it comes to long-term goals. Once you have a set of goals, you need to establish a clear game-plan for achieving these goals. For long-term goals, this may mean breaking it down into a series of small but manageable tasks. For example, if you want to reach a certain position in your company, this may include going back to school to gain more experience, or volunteering on several projects to gain experience and a good reputation. You also need to learn to ride the wave of your successes. You will have ups and downs, both at work and at home. Try to avoid getting too high or too low. Instead, stay committed to your goals, and trust the process that you have laid out. This will help you stay motivated throughout the entire process.

Be Patient

Lastly, you need to be patient. Understand that it takes time to advance your career, and it takes time for your family to grow and develop. This is why small goals and manageable targets are extremely important. It allows you to feel like you are progressing towards something, even if it may be something small and relatively insignificant in terms of your larger ambitions.